Jerry and Stephen Jones had an impromptu meeting with the media yesterday and they talked in-depth about the most pressing issues surrounding the Dallas Cowboys.
There’s a lot of figuring out to do in Dallas this offseason. Who will be the next offensive coordinator? Will any players be cut to open cap space? Is Dak Prescott the long-term answer at QB?
Jerry and Stephen addressed all these pressing issues at the Senior Bowl yesterday. All information cited was reported by Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News.
Jerry puts a vote of confidence in Dak, talks long-term extension
Stephen said the Cowboys are committed to Prescott for the long haul and are open to a contract extension. The QB is currently under a four-year, $160 million contract with the team, which was signed in March of 2021.
Dak has been a solid player for Dallas since his 2016 rookie campaign. But 2022 was a rough season for the 29-year-old. It started with a thumb injury suffered in Week 1, sidelining him for five games.
Despite the considerable absence, Dak threw 15 interceptions which was tied for the most in football. That total narrowly edged out Prescott’s previous single-season high of 13 picks in 2017.
Jerry also said the team will look to select a QB in the 2023 NFL Draft. He added the Cowboys should’ve been doing so every season for years now, but that’s due to change in April when the draft kicks off.
Ezekiel Elliott expected to return in 2023
There’s been lots of speculation about what the Cowboys RB group may look like in 2023. Tony Pollard was a pivotal player last season, but he’s now a free agent.
One move to consider is cutting Ezekiel Elliott before June 1, which would free up $10.9 million in cap space. But Jerry and Stephen put an end to that narrative.
Both said they’d like Zeke to return to the squad next season, and Stephen commented that he saw no decline in Elliott’s game in 2022.
This was a head-scratcher considering Elliott posted career-lows in rushing attempts, rushing yards, receptions and receiving yards last season. But Jerry has always had a soft spot for Zeke, so his desire to retain the 27-year-old shouldn’t be shocking.
Background on the Kellen Moore breakup
It was a bit of a shocker when news broke that the Cowboys and Kellen Moore mutually agreed to part ways. But Stephen gave a peak behind the curtain on what went into that decision. Stephen said:
“I think [Moore’s] done an incredible job for us and I think he’s been great for Dak and I thought he didn’t want to slow that growth. Dak’s on a great path, but the more he’s been around Kellen and as much as he respects him, there’s still a part of it that didn’t totally jive, if you will, with what [Dak] wants out of the offense.”
From Stephen’s quote, it seems like Prescott and Moore weren’t always on the same page.
Interviewing has begun for a new offensive coordinator
The Cowboys have yet to name Moore’s replacement. But Jerry said the team has interviewed two candidates for the position.
The first is Los Angeles Rams assistant head coach and tight ends coach Thomas Brown. The 36-year-old joined the Rams coaching staff in 2020 before receiving a promotion to his current role.
The second candidate is Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator and RBs coach Jeff Nixon. The 48-year-old joined Carolina’s staff in 2020 as the RBs coach and worked his way up.
Before joining the Panthers, Nixon coached for multiple colleges and NFL teams, including the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.
Jerry Jones confirms Mike McCarthy will call plays next season
Regardless of who comes in as the new offensive coordinator, Jerry said McCarthy will be the play caller. This isn’t breaking news, as many have already reported on this decision. But it’s the first time Jerry confirmed it.
Jerry also noted the play calling will be similar to what McCarthy implemented when he coached the Green Bay Packers. Jerry said:
“It will be, I’m sure, with added nuances of the times but more importantly the personnel. But it will be, in principle, the way [McCarthy] operated in Green Bay.”